Rebirth of the ’90s brings back simple pleasures of childhood


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By Ben Palmer

I may be alone in saying so, but I am so excited for round two of the ‘90s!
Some person once said that every 20 years, things come back in style.
Twenty years ago, the ‘90s began their beautiful reign over American culture. Seventeen years ago, I was born into this decade of weird hair, colorful clothes, and boy bands. And I was a master of its way of life.
20 years later, I can be cool again!
But what happened to my coolness after the age of seven? I would like to think of it as having been cryogenically frozen, like my favorite entertainment tycoon. Speaking of the passed (or frozen) monger of animation, his television channel, Disney Channel, kept me endlessly entertained back in the day.
Today, I may be the only teenager to have a majority of the pre-2004 Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) on VHS.
“My god, did he say…VHS!?” says the typical teenager.
Yes, VHS. I still watch VHS tapes. In fact, I love VHS tapes! I have shelves upon shelves of VHS tapes, and a countless number of these are recorded off of Disney Channel. But my unhealthy addiction to Disney is another story for another time.
How about that 90s music, eh? Some of the bountiful non-conformist teens today would argue that the center of 90s music was Nirvana or Pearl Jam. They are entitled to this opinion.
I, however, listened to S-Club-7, jammed to “Aaron’s Party,” and listened to the “NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC” albums when their numbers were still in the single digits. Well, perhaps “listened” is a poor word choice, because I still listen to these bands.
In fact, the first ever concert I attended was a Backstreet Boys concert! In 3rd grade? No. I saw the Backstreet Boys, my first concert, during the summer before 9th grade.
But long before then, I had been listening to them with my big sister. Even after they left the spotlight, I still loved them. Same with the Spice Girls. And most Disney Channel Original Movies.
And let me say something on the topic of obscure ‘90s Filipino/Californian band Moonpools & Caterpillars, who provided the music for the 1996 DCOM “Wish upon a Star” starring a teenaged Katherine Heigl. I am probably the only person to have bought their album Lucky Dumpling in the last 10 years.
Maybe it was because I was young and naive, but the ‘90s provided a perfect environment for my childhood. We were in a time of relatively little political strain, the economy was doing just fine, the internet was beginning to grow to global domination, and television for children was abundant.
On an average day, I would come home from my tiny private school, run up my stairs in my light-up shoes, watch some Fairly-Odd Parents or CatDog, listen to N*SYNC, and have a Kid Cuisine for dinner.
Ah, yes, the food of a ‘90s childhood. Spaghettio’s, Kid Cuisine, and Chef Boyardee.
Before it was “cool” to be health-conscious and avoid McDonald’s like the plague, it was actually a popular spot for birthday parties! A kid’s meal came with a gender specific toy! The box was red with a smile on it! The fries were ACTUALLY good! Who could ask for anything more?
How about the Playplaces at those Palaces of Plaque? The ball-pits were banned nation-wide for the discovery that they held a delicious mix of disease, grease, sweat, and vomit. Mmm…smells like the ‘90s to me!
You know what else smells like the ‘90s? Burning Ferbies. These demonic fluff balls simply wouldn’t stop crying at night, and so they had to be dealt with.
Burning, kicking, and exorcisms were common practice to destroy these creatures of the night. But nothing worked.
Long story short, I hate Ferbies more than Sarah Connor hates Terminators. Although she had an easier time eliminating the Governator than I had eliminating my furry foe.
They are one thing that I’m beyond glad are staying in the ‘90s. Them and politically correct text books. What does math have to do with racial diversity? Nothing!
But people may be thinking “the 90s aren’t repeating. I have more self-respect than to do that!”
Uh, really? You are cuffing your jeans, good sir. And wearing skinny clothes and shoes that are brightly colored. Reminds me of the decade of my birth.
And while we’re on the topic, shall we discuss fashion? I was under the impression that after the ‘90s were over, there were at least two rules of fashion that one must never break. Doing so was punishable by death or social ostracism, whichever came first (pray for death).
1. NEVER CUFF YOUR JEANS. Otherwise the little boy from “School of Rock” will let you know that “You’re tacky and I hate you!”
2. NEVER WEAR SOCKS WITH SANDALS. This one irks me, severely. I thought socks with sandals were reserved for the old guys who forgot that we were in the 21st century? Not young people?
Now, the ultimate confusion comes when the two are paired together. These two staples of 90s fashion that were so feared for the last 10 years have come back to acceptance, along with Pokemon and the movie Spice World. If this doesn’t prove that we’re blessed with repeating the ‘90s, I don’t know what is.
I face this new decade with hopes of a better tomorrow, and hopes of a chance to relive yesterday! In fact, I’ve been living the ‘90s for the first time (again), finally watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer in its entirety. I’m learning new great things about my favorite decade, and I hope I’ve given the world a pleasent glimpse into the soon-to-be-repeated ‘90s.

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